The Los Banos High volleyball team made it look easy Monday in a three-game sweep of Patterson.
The Tigers defeated Patterson 25-12, 25-10, 25-12 in a match that was never close, with Jade Fachin’s 14 kills and 10 aces leading the way. Her opposite, Veronica Lampreda, added 10 kills and 5 digs.
“Our girls came in ready to play today. Offensively, defensively, we executed,” LB coach Greg Soliz said. “Our girls came in today and did a great job executing throughout the game. I was kind of concerned looking at Patterson’s height, and we said, we’ll have to make sure our offense runs a little faster, you know, so we can beat the blocks out there.
“Our sets were really quick to the outside, so I think that’s what did a lot is I don’t think they could get out fast enough.”
The win, along with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-8 sweep of Central Catholic on Wednesday, left LB 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference after a preseason that Soliz said prepared the Tigers against some tough competition, especially at the Reno Tournament.
“We beat some good teams,” Soliz said. “I think what helped is a lot of girls got some playing time. Our preseason helps a lot.”
The preseason helped the Tiger perfect an offense that relies on timing and trust, and offense that kept the other Tigers off balance. Patterson never really challenged.
“We work on a fast offense. Our sets go quick to the outside, so yeah, we have to really work on it,” Soliz said. “Our hitters are designed to be hitting the net before the setters set the ball, so by the time that ball gets up there, they are in the air and that ball should be hitting them. So it’s timing, but like I said, we’ve got players that know how to do that, so it helps.”
Patterson kept it close to start the third game, but Los Banos took a 6-5 lead on a Fachin spike and never looked back. Fachin’s highlight of the night was a string of six straight aces to finish out the second game, finding empty spots on the Patterson side of the net and bending her serve to get it there.
“Our serving was tough,” Soliz said. “Jade Fachin did a great job. Her jump-serve is big.”
It also helps to have two setters (Julia Waldron with 16 assists and Colleen Allen with 10) that, in addition to placing a pass on target at the right time, can get above the net and contribute with blocks and spikes of their own.
“They have to trust each other a lot. Our setters do a phenomenal job,” Soliz said. “They’ve got a lot of pressure on them to make sure those sets are ready to go for the hitters. Their job is to make sure they put up a hittable ball. The rest of that is up to the hitter. So the setters, we put a lot of pressure on them. We make them work. They have to make sure that ball is there.”